The Ballestero Blog

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Before I Could Stop Myself

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Before I Could Stop Myself

My 66-year-old father stood in his Carlyss, Louisiana bedroom by the chest of drawers. He held a small compact camera in his hands that was made in the 1960’s. It was the world’s smallest full framed 35mm. The German-made Rollie 35.

I had heard him describe the camera’s virtues a number of times. It had a fast Carl Zeiss lens, which was one of the best on the market at the time. The lens was also collapsible.

One unusual thing about the little 35mm camera was that it had a half-frame option. A 35mm roll of film, could take up to 72 pictures with the twist of a dial, instead of the normal 36.

Dad had travelled all around the world with this camera. It was small and fit easily in his suit pocket. Our family had hundreds of slides taken with this camera.

The slides were all sharp and the colors were very vivid. It even took great pictures in low light settings.

Daddy always seemed to enjoy buying small things. Things like tiny Bibles, little spy cameras, very small shortwave radios, mini-cassette recorders, little ballpoint pens, and tiny pocketknives.

I stood looking at my father and the camera in his hand. I knew he had paid a good price for it when he’d bought it new.

Daddy began explaining something to me that I have long since forgotten. Somehow my mind got fixated on the little Rollei 35.

I had an urge to say something I’d never allowed myself to say before. I knew that I liked everything about that little camera. My mind began to wander far afield considering all the things I could do with it. I wasn’t right to want it. It was Dad’s. I couldn’t believe it. My strong Ballestero pride would never let me ask for anything. I almost didn’t.

I looked into the kind and gentle face of my big-hearted Father. Before I could stop myself, the feelings of covetousness prompted me to do something I’d never done before.

As soon as Daddy paused, I changed both the subject and the moment. I said, “Daddy, I sure do like that camera. I’m not asking for it now, but someday, if it’s OK with you, I’d like to have that.”

There it was. I had just said the thing I never thought I would be brave enough to say. I had just asked for one of my Father’s prized possessions, and he was a long way from dead.

My father smiled, pressed the button, and began to rewind the film in the camera. He opened the back, and took the roll of film out. He picked up the leather case, the flash attachment, a mini tripod, lens filters, a lens hood, and a small camera bag. While still smiling, Dad placed them all in my hands and gave me a hug.

He said, “I want you to have it now. I am glad that you wanted it. Enjoy!”

Whew! It had happened in seconds. The desire, the asking, and the giving took place in less time than it does to tell about it. I was still somewhat amazed at my new boldness. I didn’t think I would be holding it for another 10-15 years. But there it was in my hands, now!

It was in my hands, because I had asked. I had asked because I couldn’t get that covet thing out of my mind.

I realized anew, that this is the same manner our Heavenly Father interacts with His children.

Can your mind even imagine all the things that He desires to give us. He’s just waiting for us to want what He has.

1Cor. 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts:

James 4:2 …ye have not, because ye ask not.


Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 26, 2011 at 2:14 am

Posted in Faith

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. The Lord taketh pleasure in his people! Love the story and its application. Have a very blessed day today!


    August 26, 2011 at 10:31 am

  2. Have you ever read the “Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis? I have the books on tape there is a line from “The Magician’s Nephew” that strikes a cord in me every time I hear it. The boy wonders why Aslan, the Lion, didn’t provide them with food for their journey. One of travelling companions replies that He might have if they had asked. But the line that always gets me is: “I have a sovreign feeling he likes to be asked.” Why do we let our pride prevent us from asking?? Thank you once again, Bro. Ballestero, for another thought provoking blog!

    Crystal Smith (Morris)

    August 26, 2011 at 10:41 am

  3. Ahhhh… my dear brother. I love that camera! Do you think that one of these days……????? (JK) LOL I couldn’t resist. So glad our heavenly Father loves to give us good gifts.

    Nila Marxer

    August 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm

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